Deseronto Town Council


On this day in 1919 the Town Council of Deseronto discussed a letter they had received from Miss Margaret S. Stoddart:

Minute about Miss Stoddart's dog

 

Miss Margaret S. Stoddart – stating that her dog died twenty four hours after she had paid her dog tax, and asking the Council to refund the Amount of the tax.

Moved by the Reeve, seconded by Coun. Burns that the Treasurer be instructed to return to her the Amount she paid for dog tax on her returning the tag. Carried.

Margaret Sheldon Stoddart was born in Toronto on June 8th, 1871, the daughter of two Scots: William Stoddart, a tailor, and Margaret (née Home). The family were living in Deseronto by 1891. Henry Osborne took a photograph of their house at 187 St. George Street, to the north of the Presbyterian Church in around 1895:

William Stoddart's house

The house is still there today (although the trees are a bit bigger!):

Google Streetview image of St. George Street house

In 1896 William placed an advertisement in the Deseronto Library Catalogue for his tailor’s shop on Main Street:

Advertisement for Stoddart's tailor shop

Margaret Stoddart senior died in December 1901. This photograph of William in his ‘Sons of Scotland’ regalia was taken in about 1903. He died in August 1906.
William Stoddart

At the time of the 1911 census Margaret Sheldon Stoddart was living in the St. George Street house with her brother, William (also a tailor), and his children, Bruce and Nora, who were described as ‘lodgers’. The children’s mother, Frances, had died in July 1906 in Kemptville. During the First World War Margaret acted as a chaperone in the dances put on for the airmen who were learning to fly at the local Royal Flying Corps camps.1 In 1921 William was no longer living in the Stoddart’s house and Bruce and Nora were described as ‘son’ and ‘daughter’ in relation to Margaret, perhaps suggesting that she had adopted them. Nora later married Harold McMurrich Rathbun.

Margaret Stoddart died in 1947 and was buried in Deseronto Cemetery in plot 19I. History does not however record where her dog was laid to rest!


1. C.W. Hunt Dancing in the Sky (2009) p.137

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At a meeting held in the Council Chamber of Deseronto Town Hall at 8 o’clock in the evening on this day in 1918, the Council made a resolution in relation to the Kaiser. It was reported in the Napanee Beaver ten days later:

Deseronto Town Council demands trial of ex-Kaiser

Deseronto Demands Trial of Ex-Kaiser
A resolution to bring the ex-kaiser and others of his ilk to justice was unanimously passed by a standing vote of the municipal council of the corporation of the Town of Deseronto. It reads as follows:
“We, the members of the municipal council of the corporation of the Town of Deseronto, on behalf of ourselves and the citizens of Deseronto, hereby request the prime minister of Canada, Sir Robert Borden, who is to represent Canada at the meeting of the war council, to demand of that war council, on behalf of all those belonging to British and allied countries, whether military or civilians, who may have suffered through the brutalities inflicted during the course of the late war, and which brutalities were undoubtedly instigated by the kaiser and his followers, that all such who are living be brought to the bar of justice in the same manner as any other notorious criminals, to be tried and condemned by such court as the allied war council shall create or designate; and, further, that all those of the German people or their allies who may have been in any way responsible for such atrocities as have scandalized the world during the war be similarly dealt with, so that none may escape.
“And that a copy of this resolution be forwarded immediately to the premier, Sir Robert Borden.”

In the council minute book after the record of this resolution, is an additional motion:

Motion to print 1,000 copies of Kaiser resolution.JPG

Moved by Coun. Hunt, seconded by Coun. Fox, that the clerk be instructed to have 1000 copies of the above resolution printed for distribution. Carried.

Ebenezer Arthur Rixen

Ebenezer Arthur Rixen, Mayor of Deseronto 1917-1918 [2014.13 (1)]

The council members present at this meeting were the Mayor, Ebenezer Arthur Rixen; the Reeve, Thomas J. Naylor; and Councillors Thomas Fox, Milton Hunt, and William H. Richardson.

Curtiss JN4A C593 upside-down

As part of a day of commemorative events on June 10th, Mayor Norman J. Clark will unveil a commemorative plaque in Rathbun Park, Deseronto, to mark the town’s involvement in the First World War.

Some 300 local people served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and more than 50 men lost their lives while they were attached to the two pilot training camps, either side of Deseronto.

The commemorative plaque was funded by the Council of the Town of Deseronto and coordinated by the Deseronto Archives Board. It is the first of a planned series of plaques aimed at bringing Deseronto’s colourful past to life on the present-day streets of the town.

We hope you will be able to join Mayor Clark and the Deseronto Archives Board in Rathbun Park at 3pm on June 10th for the unveiling of the plaque.

Media release – Deseronto plaque unveiling.

The Ontario Temperance Act was passed on April 27th, 1916, banning the sale of alcohol in the province apart from for medicinal, religious or scientific purposes from September 16th. This had an impact on the local hotel business, as this extract from the minutes of Deseronto Town Council on this day in 1916 makes clear:

William Myles's request to Council

Mr. W. N. Myles of the Deseronto House Hotel being present, it was moved by the Reeve, seconded by Councillor Richardson, that he be heard.
Mr. Myles stated he was now keeping a standard hotel and requested the Council to grant him a license to keep two or more billiard tables. Councillor Hunt said at the present time it was revenue we are after as the cutting off of liquor licenses left the town in a bad monetary shape. He was in favour of the application. The Reeve also stated that he was in favour of granting the application.
Moved by Councillor Hunt, seconded by the Reeve, that Mr.Myles be granted the privilege he asked on payment of the usual fee. Carried.

A “standard hotel” was one where the hotel-keeper was

…entitled to sell all non-intoxicating drinks and beverages, cigars, cigarettes and tobacco, and to conduct an ice cream or general restaurant or café without further or other license

according to the terms of the Act.

Deseronto House Hotel

Deseronto House Hotel

William Myles maintained his association with billiard tables: in the 1921 census he was living in Thomas Street with an occupation of ‘Amusements’, working as an employee in a pool room. He retired to Hamilton and died there on December 31st, 1927 at the age of 69. He lived long enough to see the Ontario Temperance Act repealed: in March 1927.

Last year’s family heritage competition, run by the Archives Board in conjunction with the staff and students of Deseronto Public School was such a great success that it didn’t seem possible that 2011’s competition could be as good.

Prize-giving

But it was! Thanks to all the children who entered – it was very difficult to judge, but Board members Reverend Betts and Sharon Sharpe chose four winners from the entries we received. Congratulations to Gabe Cook, Stevi Menard, Jakob Howald and Britney Wotherspoon.

The prizes were presented in the new Community Hall of the Deseronto Recreation Centre by Deputy Mayor, Clarence Zieman and Archives Board Chair, Paul Robertson, following on from a great show by magician Nigel Harrison, who escaped from a straight jacket immediately beforehand. Another tough act to follow!

Magician Nigel Harrison

All the entries received this year will be on display in Deseronto Public Library for the next week or two: please drop by and see the excellent standard of work by the children.

At a meeting of the Council of the Town of Deseronto of February 8th, 2011, the following proclamation was made:


WHEREAS, the Heritage Canada Foundation has long promoted the recognition of the third Monday in February each year as Heritage Day as an opportunity to celebrate Canada’s rich heritage of collections, architecture, parks, and historic places; and

WHEREAS, Heritage Day is a time to reflect on the achievements of past generations and to accept responsibility for protecting our heritage; and

WHEREAS, our citizens should be encouraged to celebrate Deseronto’s uniqueness and to rejoice in their heritage and environment; and

WHEREAS, for many years the Town of Deseronto Archives has collected, preserved, and interpreted the town’s heritage documentary and photographic resources for the benefit of the town’s residents. The Archives sponsors an annual Heritage Day prize to encourage students to learn about and celebrate that heritage through special research projects; and

THEREFORE, I, Norm Clark, Mayor of the Town of Deseronto, do hereby proclaim 21 February 2011 as Heritage Day in the Town of Deseronto, and call upon all citizens to celebrate the richness of our past and the promise of our future.


As part of Heritage Day, the Archives Board will be presenting prizes to members of Deseronto Public School who have entered the annual Heritage Day competition. Prizes will be awarded on Heritage Day at 3pm in the Deseronto Community Recreation Centre at 51 Mechanic Street.

2011 Heritage Day competition entries

Thanks very much to the Archives Board members who have helped to promote this competition and the Heritage Day proclamation in Deseronto.